By Patricia Wersinger
Alibi NYC Salon has been open for about five months and seemed quite busy on the sunny October morning when I visited. Situated in a 2,200-square-foot loft in the heart of SoHo, with beautiful wooden floors, Rococo-style chandeliers, a chic black and white color theme, and avant-garde art, the salon looks like a contemporary lounge where artsy people would congregate to linger, relax, read, drink tea and listen to music – all while enjoying the bliss of getting their hair done. Then again, it is SoHo, former capital of the arts and still a Mecca for anything out of the box, unexpected, stylish and vibrant, so I guess I should not have been surprised that such an ambiance would attract a bustling crowd on any given morning.
After the long days of summer, I felt I needed a good haircut to start the fall season on the right foot. Putting the fate of my hair in Koby Ben Yaacov’s hands at Alibi got me onto that foot. Charismatic and friendly, and certainly a character, he is the kind of confident stylist – part seer, part motivator – who is able to see what would and could be a better you, and knows how to get you there. In my case, he immediately suggested lightening the load of hair on my shoulders to work with the natural movement and curl and create a bob with slightly different lengths. The concept was to create a sense of trendy “faux-messiness” or precise randomness, something equivalent to “bohemian chic” in architecture. Without any false modesty, Koby argues that part of his talent lies in knowing how to fix any problem to make a woman look beautiful. “When I cut hair,” he says, “all I aim at really is to create a woman that I would be attracted to.” He is not at all afraid to talk you into a sexier, fresher you.
In my case, he thought I needed a hipper, energized look to flatter the shape of my face and bring out, what he sensed, was my real personality.
Before we proceeded, I was pleasantly surprised by a gentleman named Igor, who came by to massage my neck and shoulders as I was lolling in my chair. At Alibi, it’s as if the philosophy is for your hair to come out its best, your mind has to be cleared and your body tuned up perfectly. There’s a kind of blurring at Alibi between salon, spa and retreat. It is a synergetic venue where body and soul, form and inspiration blend together. Koby wants you to leave not only styled but regenerated from within.
While cutting my hair, Koby told me about his life, how he grew up in Israel and started cutting hair to big acclaim before moving to London to study with stylists to the stars, Toni & Guy, and Vidal Sassoon’s advanced teams. He then arrived in New York where he built a strong clientele. He now specializes in runway haircuts, color and progressive styles. Alibi Salon is novel, points out Koby, in that the space is shared by independent stylists who “rent a chair” and work for themselves.
At the end of my cut, Igor came back with a hot towel in which he held each one of my arms and massaged every sinew in my muscles. By the time Toby arrived to blow my hair dry, I was as serene as a lotus. I left the salon with a cutting-edge and quirky cut, which I love. I can play with it to make it more edgy one day, or more refined another. It’s extremely low maintenance and two weeks after my visit, looked even better. All I need is to comb my locks with my fingers (never a comb Koby insists) after applying a little Moroccan Oil. Koby does not allow anyone with curly hair to leave the salon without a bottle of Moroccan Oil, vital for the care of his creation.
But before I left, Toby, who blow-dried me, did not like my color – too brassy, he said, and unflattering. So he invited me to come back for a color transformation. When I returned a few days later, I met with Liz Wright, who after examining my hair with the scientific precision of a physician, shared with me what needed to be done to create a more luscious appearance. She created depth by sculpting a three-dimensional color scheme to enhance my cut. My dull hair was dyed into a blend of ashy dark blond, golden blond with strawberry highlights, a subtle match to the pigment of my skin.
I left pleased and transformed from my second “experience.” On my way out, Koby offered me one of his latest creations, a “hair stick” to hold hair up elegantly.
What Koby and his team are great at is making women look beautiful whether in the hands of Alibi’s team, or out on the streets left to our own devices.
67 Greene Street, Suite #2
New York, NY 10012
212 219 2806